We understand your distaste for masks. We really do.
You have to remember to put it on. It can be uncomfortable. People can’t telegraph smiles. You have to take it off to eat.
But we are in the fight for our lives. We won’t bother repeating the statistics; you’ve seen them. COVID-19 is not going away; it’s coming back again and again, as maybe virus fatigue has cut into our precautions. And this holiday weekend does not bode well for late July and early August, just as we are about to send children back to school.
Alabama officials are at the point of pleading with the public to do the basics: Hand washing for 20 seconds at a time, social distancing at 6 feet and wearing a mask in public. Doing those would do much to correct the problem.
Many people do understand this, and we commend them. Increasingly we are hearing people say, “Are you going back to church? I’m not. I’m watching online,” or “I’m still doing takeout.” More people locally are beginning to wear face masks.
The science has only reinforced what those people did as a preventive measure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state this on their website:
“COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice (e.g., while shouting, chanting, or singing). These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Recent studies show that a significant portion of individuals with COVID-19 lack symptoms (are
“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (are “pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. To reduce the spread of COVID-19, CDC recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.”
The most direct statement is at the top of the CDC web page we read: “A cloth face covering may not protect the wearer, but it may keep the wearer from spreading the virus to others.” The whole purpose is to protect our families, friends, co-workers and neighbors, even as we may not realize we are spreading it by the virus’ peculiar nature.
It is not a new idea, helping others. There is much to learn in old photographs. We are also seeing people online post more and more photos from 1918 and 1919, when the flu pandemic shook the world as COVID-19 is rocking our society. Almost everyone — we mean everyone — in those photos are wearing masks. They knew how to support each other.
Now, we have our own event and officials are looking at what to do. Many of our local officials, in addition to our federal and state officials, are stressing for citizens to take the precaution of wearing masks. Resolutions such as the one being prepared for Jasper City Council for Tuesday are also encouraging such actions.
In the end, though, the difference will be made by the people themselves, people like you and me.
Carbon Hill Mayor April Kennedy Herron bragged on Carbon Hill folks Wednesday, about how everyone helps everyone else. We think that is usually true for Walker County in general. If it was a tornado, people would line up with food and clothes. This is an ongoing emergency, with people already at risk. We need to find whatever mask is comfortable for us, wash our hands, keep some distance and protect others when we are out in public. The ones who can look after each other the best in Walker County are Walker Countians themselves. Let us do our part.
—The Daily Mountain Eagle